Business Leaders See Stability For Now, Concern Down the Line

The good news is that the majority of Michigan business leaders expect to continue or boost their investment within the state. The not so good news is there is a growing number who anticipate slower state and national economic expansion coming into 2020. That’s the thumbnail sketch of the latest quarterly survey from the top business leaders at Michigan’s largest businesses and institutions.

Business Leaders for Michigan released the results of the second quarter survey this week with the organization’s President & CEO Doug Rothwell saying, “While Michigan’s senior executives remain positive about their companies’ abilities to continue growing jobs and investing capital in the state, a growing number are getting concerned about an economic downturn.” Rothwell suggests, “The complexities surrounding U.S. and international trade relations, as well as the political and election cycle, are causing a bit more pessimism than we have seen in past years.”

The latest survey data is in keeping with recent trends as measured quarterly by Business Leaders for Michigan. More than 80-percent of Michigan executives surveyed expect to add jobs or maintain current employment levels heading into 2020, while roughly 90-percent anticipated to maintain or expand capital investment in the state.

At the same time, however, a growing number of surveyed companies have poorer outlooks for both the Michigan and U.S. economies.

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Roughly 90-percent of BLM members think the U.S. economic outlook is going to stay about the same or worsen during the next six to 12 months, while around 95-percent believe Michigan also will remain stable or slower, according to the survey.

Rothwell tells us, “We know that the capacity for employers to further invest in Michigan and establish new jobs is contingent on us addressing several pressing challenges: namely our infrastructure crisis, educational attainment and ensuring the state’s budget is completed on time.” Rothwell concludes, “To remain competitive over other states, our fiscal house must be in order and we have to show signs of improvement on key indicators.”

Quarterly Economic Outlook Reports are available at the link below:

Business Leaders for Michigan is the state’s business roundtable, and is dedicated to making Michigan a “Top Ten” state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan’s largest companies and universities.

Business Leaders for Michigan members drive nearly one-third of the state’s economy, provide 390,000 direct jobs in Michigan, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly half of all Michigan public university students. Learn more online at: